Course Structure

Course Structure

During your training, you will complete placements at two contrasting secondary schools. These placements will be within TCAT schools, all of which are within a five-mile radius in Warrington. This means you can concentrate on your teaching and training rather that spending time commuting to work. These schools are selected to suit your particular training needs and interests to give you the best possible support for your learning.

The programme consists of 35 weeks of school centred training from the beginning of September to the end of June. Initially, you will spend time undertaking focused observation in classes of your own subject and within other faculties to help you begin to acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills required to plan for pupils’ learning. After this observation period, four days per week will be spent training in classrooms under the guidance of your mentors. Throughout the year, Fridays will be spent with the rest of your cohort in our Professional Development Centre at Bridgewater focusing on your growing professional, personal and academic knowledge, understanding and skills. During these Conference sessions, you will learn the pedagogy of teaching from our experienced current practitioners and this will help to ensure you have all the skills to become an effective teacher.

You will also study for a PGCert (Post Graduate Certificate) completing two practical assignments under the guidance of Liverpool John Moores University. You will attend LJMU for one Induction Day and then complete five days of further PGCert studies, the majority of which is delivered at Bridgewater High School.


The training programme consists of two extended school placements in two contrasting schools from September through to February and then February through to June within our Partnership schools: Bridgewater High School, Beamont Collegiate Academy, Sir Thomas Boteler Church of England High School, Penketh High School or Padgate Academy.

Four days a week will be spent in classrooms under the guidance of a Curriculum Mentor who will support and train you at all times to be a highly effective teacher. They will model exemplary practice in planning teaching and assessment to prepare you to be the best teacher you can be. Our programme will also allocate you an Academic Mentor in school and you will meet with them regularly throughout the year to develop your subject knowledge. In addition, a Professional Mentor in School will ensure you are supported at all times and will oversee the programme. Finally, you will have a University Mentor to support your PGCert studies.

You will be assessed through observations with your school mentors and feedback will be through timetabled weekly meetings with your Curriculum Mentor and regular meetings with your Academic Mentor. At the end of a successful year, you will be awarded Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) as well as your PGCert.

PSHE has always been an integral part of our programme and all our students complete a professional qualification to become an accredited teacher of PSHE. It is a school subject through which pupils develop the knowledge, skills and attributes to manage their lives, now and in the future. This helps the pupils to stay healthy, safe and prepare them for life in modern Britain. Our schools already provide the training and support to prepare teachers of the future for this important role and our students already take an active role in PSHE delivery across KS3 and KS4, delivering lessons to their linked forms. Last year, all our ITT students became accredited teachers of PSHE.

You will also experience enhancement placements with our TCAT partners, where you will undertake a range of activities including observation, team teaching and group work within our TCAT Primary Schools, our Designated Provisions and Priestley Sixth Form College. You will also gain an insight into EAL during your two weeks of enrichment visits to TCAT schools. In addition, we will provide opportunities for you to extend your experience into specialised educational settings including Special Schools and Alternative Provisions.

At the end of your first school placement, if you have successfully met all teaching standards, there will be an opportunity to extend your course and request a third placement at Priestley Sixth form College which will allow you to include an extended period working with KS5 students.

We will ensure that you are equipped to enjoy the rewards and challenges of the teaching profession and we recognise the need to nurture the next generation of committed, resilient, high quality teachers and school leaders.

This is a bespoke course and as you progress, your timetable and teaching load will be tailored to your needs and determined by your confidence and competence. We recruit candidates who have the potential to be highly effective teachers and we aim for all trainees to be outstanding by the end of their year training with us. Our Teacher Training programme, designed by our schools’ outstanding teachers and leaders, will ensure a firm grounding in practical skills. Spending more of your training in the school environment, for some trainees, is proving to be the best grounding for a career in teaching. Our programme is designed to create the next generation of outstanding teachers who will help lead our schools to success.

Aims of the Course

  • We will work with you from the point of interview, through a high-quality training programme, which will be seen as the first part of your professional development, ensuring a smooth and successful transition to the ECT Induction and beyond;
  • Mindful of the challenges you will face, we will support you with respect, whilst exercising a duty of care at each stage of your personalised training being mindful of the impact on the challenges you might be facing;
  • We will provide opportunities for you to train in a variety of exciting, challenging and innovative schools across the partnership, learning first hand from experienced teachers and trainers;
  • We will create a holistic training programme putting the well-being and safeguarding of you and the pupils you teach at its heart.
  • We will ensure that trainees are equipped to enjoy the rewards and challenges of the teaching profession and we recognise the need to nurture the next generation of committed, resilient, high-quality teaches and school leaders.